After hours of contentious debate, the House approved legislation this evening that would cap payouts under the state’s film incentive program at $45 million annually.
The vote was 53-17 in favor of the bill.
Much of the debate on the House floor centered around a proposed amendment from Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, that would have raised the annual cap to $60 million. Egolf said a $45 million cap would be a “death sentence” for the industry.
After that amendment failed on a vote of 33-36, Egolf proposed a doomed amendment to impose a $45 million annual cap on incentives to the oil and gas industry.
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” Egolf said.
That amendment failed on a vote of 28-40.
Another amendment from Al Park, D-Las Cruces, would have delayed imposing a cap on the incentives for a year so the state could conduct a study to determine the effectiveness of the incentives. A bill that would fund such a study, Senate Bill 44, has already passed the Senate and is awaiting consideration by the House.
But that amendment failed on a vote of 28-41.
Luján stressed repeatedly that there were things about his compromise bill he didn’t like, but also things about it the other side didn’t like.
Update, 7:20 p.m.
“The limit on the film tax credit just passed the house,” Park just tweeted. “I’m very worried this may spell the end of the film industry in New Mexico.”
Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, urged lawmakers to raise the cap to $60 million.
“Moving the cap from $45 million to $60 million would return stability to the market and send a strong message that New Mexico is truly open for business,” he said.